Loh overcomes pain barrier to clinch 2nd gold


MANILA • Wushu exponent Loh Choon How (picture) was a picture of grace, power and grit as he fought his way to a second personal gold at the 30th SEA Games yesterday.

Despite carrying a minor back injury, Loh executed his routine with poise to impress the judges at the World Trade Centre as he battled through pain.

The Kuala Lumpur (KL) athlete scored 9.68 points in men’s taijijian to win gold, Malaysia’s fifth at these games.

Loh had been healed of an injury he suffered three months ago, but it came back to haunt him on Sunday after he completed the taijiquan event, which he also won to give Malaysia its first gold.

“Before going to the venue, I felt some pain. But I reminded myself that I could do it and would finish the event no matter what,” said the 26-year-old athlete.

The Philippines’ Jones Llabres Inso won the silver in men’s taijijian with 9.65 points, while the bronze went to Hosea Wong Zheng Yu of Brunei, who earned 9.6 points.

Loh’s teammate Chuah Shangyang was not so lucky as he managed to finish only seventh in the men’s nandao/nangun combined with a total of 18.87 points.

Team manager Yong Kheng Chien was elated by Loh’s performances, saying his two-gold triumph showed that Malaysia always has new wushu talents coming through.

“Loh Jack Chang was our hero previously, but he has retired. Although Choon How has been in the squad for some time, he had been a second choice.

“This time he has stepped up and proven himself as a capable successor, showing that Malaysia is still among the best in the SEA Games,” he said.